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Aleo outlook bleak after Bosch

Worse-than-expected 2012 losses and a prediction that another “substantial” deficit may be in the making for this year sank shares in Aleo Solar by less than 3%, with many investors having already written the company off after Bosch’s decision to quit the solar game last week.

Despite the significant restructuring efforts already underway at Aleo, the company faces an uphill battle for survival after Bosch – which bought more than 90% of outstanding shares in 2009 – sells its stake.

Bosch has pledged to continue financing Aleo through March 2014, giving the company a year to consolidate its strategy and potentially find another major investor. The Brandenburg-based company today confirmed an operating loss of €77m ($98.3m) for 2012 – worse than the €74m it predicted in January.

Bosch’s announcement last week sent Aleo shares spiralling downward nearly 60%, falling to €4.05 from €9.26 in a single day.

Since then, the shares have continued to press aggressively downward, but lost just 2.4% today when Aleo flagged up the likelihood of another 2013 loss. At midday, Aleo shares stood at €2.19, leaving the module maker with a market value of less than €30m.

Having pulled the plug on a Chinese joint venture and a small Spanish factory last year, Aleo is left with its flagship factory in Prenzlau, with 260MW of capacity. The company’s new strategy, unveiled last year, is to focus exclusively on high-end modules.

Nearly all of Bosch’s sales come from its core European markets of Germany, France, Italy and Greece, although it is building its footprint in the US.

Compounding the challenges for Aleo, the company is also in the midst of a management shake-up due to Bosch’s decision.

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